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Leading fund groups of Q1

12 Apr, 2024 | Return|


Stronger-than-expected economic data in the first quarter of 2024, meant that the Fed and other central banks held off making much-anticipated rate cuts. Interestingly, despite this, equity markets rose over recent months. Fixed income investors had a slightly trickier start to the year due to inflation being stickier than hoped and The Fed's tone turning more hawkish in nature.

As with the last quarter of 2023, capital accumulation was the most popular search outcome so far in 2024. Searches increased to 46% of all views, up from 40.6%. Income searches decreased to 32%, having also attracted 40.6% of views in Q4 2023. Capital preservation saw a small increase from 11.6% to 14%, while inflation protection continued its upward trend to 8%, up slightly from 7.2%.

Despite anticipated interest rate cuts by central banks never materialising in Q1 2024, equity searches still increased. They had attracted 53.3% of views last quarter, but went on to draw 60% of all searches in Q1. While searches for alternatives stayed broadly the same (down to 0.8% from 1.0%), fixed income saw a slight decrease to 25.0% from 26%. Multi-asset searches saw a larger decrease, from 19.7% to 14.2%. As with last quarter, there were no property searches.

Looking at views in terms of sector, IA Global jumped to the top spot this quarter, attracting 17.6% of views. IA UK All Companies dropped to second place from first with 10.6% of all views, while IA Sterling Strategic Bond had 9.5% of views, having been in second place previously. Behind them were IA Targeted Absolute Return and IA UK Smaller Companies.

When it came to accessing our dashboard, opinion was our most popular access point - as it was in Q4 2023, though it was down slightly to 43.9% from 45.3%. Performance increased a little from 28% to 29.3%. Costs was the third most popular view again, with searches increasing to 19.5% from 14.7%. Risks came in fourth as it did in Q4 2023. It attracted 7.3% of views, a slight decrease from 9.3%. Interestingly, ESG views reduced to zero this quarter, having once been one of the most popular fund dashboard access points at the beginning of last year.

There was a significant change in leadership in the most researched fund groups in Q1 2024, with boutique fund house Havelock leading the pack, accounting for nearly one in ten searches (9.4%). Meanwhile industry heavyweight Schroders fell from pole position to fourth place with 3.9%, trailing both First Sentier (4.7%) and Jupiter Asset Management (4.2%).

Looking at the most popular active fund searches, there was a change to the top spot in this category too, with WS Havelock Global Select attracting 12.3% of all views. In second place, as with last quarter, was WS Amati UK Listed Smaller Companies, with 4.2% of views. Third was last quarter’s top spot holder: Aegon Diversified Monthly Income, with 2.3% of views.

When it came to Responsible Rated funds, this quarter’s most popular was the EdenTree Responsible and Sustainable Shorted Dated Bond fund, with 6.4%. It had been joint second last quarter with the Wellington Global Impact Bond fund. The Wellington fund remained in second place this quarter with 6.1% of views. Third place was last quarter’s most popular fund: BlueBay Impact-Aligned Bond.

In the first full quarter of data on research patterns among advisers into closed-ended funds since Square Mile launched its investment trust ratings in November 2023, abrdn UK Smaller Companies Growth Trust was the most viewed at 11.64%, just ahead of Fidelity Special Values PLC with 11.4%. The City of London Investment Trust and Invesco Asia Trust also vied for third and fourth place with 9.98% and 9.03% respectively.

Passive strategy searches also saw a new leader with Legal & General All Stocks Gilt Index attracting 7.2% of views. Vanguard Global Bond Index GBP Hedged came in second place with 6.2% of searches, with Fidelity Index US coming in at third, attracting 6.1% of searches.

For the full summary report, click here.


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